Modulation of host cell function by Legionella pneumophila type IV effectors

Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2010;26:261-83. doi: 10.1146/annurev-cellbio-100109-104034.


Macrophages and protozoa ingest bacteria by phagocytosis and destroy these microbes using a conserved pathway that mediates fusion of the phagosome with lysosomes. To survive within phagocytic host cells, bacterial pathogens have evolved a variety of strategies to avoid fusion with lysosomes. A virulence strategy used by the intracellular pathogen Legionella pneumophila is to manipulate host cellular processes using bacterial proteins that are delivered into the cytosolic compartment of the host cell by a specialized secretion system called Dot/Icm. The proteins delivered by the Dot/Icm system target host factors that play evolutionarily conserved roles in controlling membrane transport in eukaryotic cells, which enables L. pneumophila to create an endoplasmic reticulum-like vacuole that supports intracellular replication in both protozoan and mammalian host cells. This review focuses on intracellular trafficking of L. pneumophila and describes how bacterial proteins contribute to modulation of host processes required for survival within host cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Legionella pneumophila / metabolism*
  • Legionella pneumophila / pathogenicity*
  • Lysosomes / metabolism
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Microbial Viability
  • Phagocytosis*
  • Phagosomes / metabolism
  • Virulence


  • Bacterial Proteins